Carlo Ancelotti said last night that his Chelsea side could still win the Premier League title after an impressive 4-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers as the club prepared to bolster their squad with two new signings before Monday.
Ancelotti said the club were close to agreeing a deal for the £25.6m Benfica defender David Luiz but it also emerged last night that they expect to make another signing before the transfer window deadline on Monday night. Sources close to the club said that they expected another striker to join before the end of the month.
A spectacular goal from Didier Drogba, his ninth league goal of the season, led the way in the first half last night and Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka and Ramires also scored. It took Chelsea to within seven points of leaders Manchester United who play their game in hand away to Blackpool tonight.
Ancelotti said: "I think we've turned the corner. We are playing good football with a good attitude and good mentality. It was an important performance and now I think we are coming back to fight for everything. It is not easy to close the gap but we have to try. We are playing well and are in good condition. We will try to do everything to close the gap."
The victory was the first away from home in the league for Chelsea since their win over Blackburn Rovers in October and their first back-to-back league victory since that month. The Chelsea captain John Terry said that the two league games against United, at home on 1 March and at Old Trafford on 7 May, would be crucial and that the league leaders had been "lucky" at times this season.
Terry said: "I think United should be worried. In the past we've never given up. United are playing well and getting the right results and getting a bit of luck. That might turn. We have to play them twice and if we can win both we'll be right back in it."
The pre-match build-up was dominated by the suspension by Sky Sports of their leading presenter Richard Keys and the pundit Andy Gray for sexist remarks made about the female referee's assistant Sian Massey. The Chelsea supporters sang: "Are you watching Andy Gray?" and "You're getting sacked in the morning" during their team's victory at Reebok Stadium.
Last night Gray's position was under more pressure after a further clip was leaked in which he made disparaging remarks about Massey. Gray also said on the footage: "Fuck, what do women know about the offside rule?"
The Bolton manager, Owen Coyle, whose side drop below Stoke to go 10th in the table, said that not even "two goalies" would have been able to stop Drogba's opening goal. He said: "We gifted them each and every goal. I take nothing away from Chelsea, their finishing was top class – but there was no way four goals between the teams."
Chelsea's transfer targets are understood to include the Ajax right back Gregory van der Wiel, Anderlecht's 17-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku, the Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez of Udinese, and the Italian midfielder Daniele de Rossi of Roma.